Do I need a pre-amp?

What a dumb question, you may be thinking! (you'd be right)
But... I have recently purchased a Sony SCD-1 and will listen to it through headphones only (my budget and neighbors don't allow anything else). So I have also a Musical Fidelity headphone amplifier and good Sennheiser headphones. Some fellows here told me that this configuration is enough. HOWEVER, could the sound be improved by adding a pre-amplifier between the CD player and the headphone amplifier? Any suggestions if the answer is affirmative? Thanks again to all and sorry for my low level questions. I'm just new to this.
Pedro (horcalh)
Why add another device inbetween the signal and your ears, my belief is to keep it as short and simple as possible, you seem to have all you need, what do you think is missing from the sound?
Thanks for your answer, Uru. You must be right. To tell you the truth, I still can't answer your question because the SCD-1 hasn't arrived yet. I will receive it within next week. I'm very anxious, I admit it, and since I'm new to this I was wondering whether it would be worth or not to have also a good pre-amplifier besides of the mentioned headphone amplifier, the Sennheisers, good wires, etc. I don't know what I'm more excited about, whether the technical audiophile madness, how well will sound my loved music or perhaps the compulsive desire to spend high amounts of money in electronic jewelry. Thanks again and greetings.
Hi Pedro,
Outside of a few(many?) moments when I am sure I must be right that is not necessarily the case. Here it is just my opinion and practice. Wait for the SCD-1 to arrive, listen to it, and after a suitable while decide if more is really needed. All the best
If the SCD has a real headphone amp then it would probably be fine. But if not a headphone amp would be the next best and could still be an improvement.
If you are not satisfied with the sound from the SCD-1/MF/Senn rig then I would get a better headphone amp or better phones. A pre-amp will not add anything. The Senns can be a bit laid back but to my ears they are very non-fatiguing and comfortable.
In theory using a pre-amp shouldn't be necessary and it certainly is a 'wait and see' thing. However, the synergy issue is always present and the insertion of a specific tube pre-amp with selected tubes could change the sound/tone of the source if you don't like it. It is a much more effective way IMHO than changing headphones or headphone amps.
Fellow audiophiles!
Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. I really can't wait to receive the SCD-1 and start messing on it. Nevertheless, I will replace my current headphone amplifier sooner or later (MF XCAN-V3) for a better one. But now it's time to enjoy the SCD-1 and see how it sounds such a serious device. I should expect a big improvenent because, until now, I was listening my CDs with an old Discman!
Pedro (horcalh)
Have fun, Pedro. Remember that your headphones probably have the greatest effect on the sound of your "system" and that some headphones have unusual impedence characteristics that make them work better with certain headphone amps. Read up on them at